October 22, 2020
Searching for outbreaks. The long and sometimes muddled tradition of predicting outbreak hot spots by analyzing search engine activity has continued into the COVID-19 era, with Mayo Clinic researchers publishing new findings that suggest strong correlations between certain keywords and case reports. In reviewing data from Jan. 22 to April 6, "face mask," "Lysol" and "COVID stimulus check" had the...
October 7, 2020
More digital health tools join the PBM party. Evernorth, a newly-established Cigna subsidiary that now acts as the parent of Express Scripts, announced today several new additions to the pharmacy benefit manager's Digital Health Formulary. Joining the lineup in 2021 will be:
Wildflower Health's app-based women's health offering.
Quit Genius's digital program for smoking and vaping cessation....
September 23, 2020
A one-sided arrangement. Earlier this week, budget-minded connected-exercise-maker Echelon Fitness announced the launch of is "Prime Bike," a $499 device that it described in its reveal as "Amazon's first-ever connected fitness product." Through a bring-your-own-tablet interface, the machine would enable owners to join live and on-demand fitness classes through Echelon's subscription service.
August 31, 2020
Hogwash, or a brain activity breakthrough? Friday evening came with a long-awaited look at the work of Neuralink, Elon Musk's ambitious brain-computer interface implant startup. In the streamed progress update, Musk ran down a PowerPoint overview of the technology's capabilities, which he likened to "a Fitbit in your skull." The coin-shaped implant will read and wirelessly transmit brain signals...
August 20, 2020
Picking through the scraps. Following the bankruptcy of 'digital pill' maker Proteus Digital Health, business partner and stakeholder Otsuka Pharmaceutical has been approved to purchase the digital health company's assets by a federal bankruptcy court judge, STAT reports.
Otsuka's bid was challenged by Novartis, two former Proteus executives and other investors, who argued that the agreed upon $...
August 13, 2020
Driving digital diagnosis. Roche and Israeli life sciences investment firm aMoon announced plans this week to launch an early-stage investment program called StarFinder Lab. Focused on novel diagnostic technologies, in particular, with the help of AI data analysis and digital health tools, the program will provide funding, mentoring and other strategic support such as a physical office space...
July 14, 2020
Decentralized digital therapeutic trial. Pear Therapeutics has enrolled the first participant in the DREAM study, an open-label trial of its Somryst prescription digital therapeutic for chronic insomnia.
Conducted as a decentralized trial, the effort will recruit U.S. adults aged 22 to 75 years who have an Insomnia Severity Index score of 8 or higher, as well as at least three months of insomnia...
July 13, 2020
VR for pain. A new study published by JMIR found that virtual reality was a feasible and scalable means of treating chronic pain. The study, which used AppliedVR’s technology, split participants into two groups: a VR cohort and an audio one.
Participants in the VR group were mailed a headset, with accompanying software, speakers and microphone. Participants in this group were asked to complete...
June 25, 2020
Cancelled conference data trickles out. Digital respiratory-health company Propeller Health recently shared new study data that were accepted for presentation at the now cancelled Society of Behavioral Medicine 2020 Annual Meeting.
The first of the three abstracts described a sample of 617 adults with asthma or COPD, in which older patients engaged with Propeller's app for longer periods of time...
June 24, 2020
FDA begins sharing patient's cancer drug experiences. The FDA's Oncology Center of Excellence has kicked off the first step of new pilot program that will increase the availability of patient-reported outcome data from cancer clinical trials. Project Patient Voice, as it's called, will start with making the data from a single trial accessible online while the agency solicits public feedback, but...